Discussing the new Netflix documentary
Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold
, "There are certain images that one associates with Joan Didion, the prolific American writer: Didion in front of a 1969 Corvette Stingray. The packing list she kept taped inside her closet door, so that she could depart for any reporting trip at a moment's notice. A spate of photographs that, in their consistency, might as well be one, in which her gaze is fixed doggedly, unwaveringly on the camera. Often, half her face is eclipsed by dark sunglasses. She is nearly always smoking.
"When Didion's nephew, actor and director Griffin Dunne, set out to make a documentary about her, this iconography, and Didion's stature as a beloved literary icon, loomed large." To read the full article,
"The documentary takes a loosely chronological structure, but more than anything it's arranged around Didion's best-known writing,"
. "There are segments devoted to her reporting from the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the late 1960s, as well as Didion's political journalism from the 90s, her essay on the Central Park Five, the screenplay
Panic in Needle Park
, and her later autobiographical works,
The Year of Magical Thinking
, both heart-wrenching voyages through Didion's grief after the deaths of her husband and daughter." To read the full article,
"I had the narration to her whole life story just by from pulling from what she's written about her life," Dunne tells
. "But what could I do so it wouldn't just be an audiobook for the eyes? For the sections that I knew I would be reading, I would try to put them in context with what was going on in the world and where she was in her life in a visual way, and then reinforce what she was saying on the page with the interviews that people had about her at those times in her life. I always had hope that the movie itself would feel very much like a tapestry." To read the full interview with Dunne,